Archive for Saturday, July 7, 2007

Faith Forum: Should faith affect how I discipline my kids?

July 7, 2007


Faith affects all aspects of our lives

The Rev. Beau Abernathy, pastor, CrossPointe Church, 4120 Clinton Parkway:

Our faith affects all of life, not just disciplining children. It is not "Christian" and then "life." It is all of life lived in submission to God's word, the Bible, under the lordship of Jesus. Our faith influences our family relationships, business practices - everything.

God's guidebook, the Bible, says the ultimate responsibility for the proper training, discipline and education of our children rests upon the parents (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Ephesians 6:4). The school and the church are vital to a child's overall development, but standards, convictions and moral strength should be discussed and implemented at home. According to a recent survey by the Washington Times, most children want to learn moral values from their parents! Of course, values are more caught than taught, and that involves time.

Children are wet cement! Parents need to take seriously the disciplining and nurturing of their children. Here are just a few principles from Proverbs, which is a wonderful, intensely practical guide that contains much wisdom you can impart to your children as you train them in godly living. In the process of teaching these 10 lessons, you'll unearth many more principles that will serve your children well their entire lives.

Teach your children:

1. To have a healthy fear of God

2. To guard their minds

3. To obey you

4. To carefully select their companions

5. To control their sinful desires

6. To enjoy sexual fidelity

7. To watch their words

8. To pursue their work

9. To manage their money

10. To love their neighbors

- Send e-mail to Beau Abernathy at

Moral and spiritual training is essential

Mehdi Khosh, member, Lawrence Baha'i Community:

The answer is yes - the discipline of children is among the most meritorious acts of each Baha'i. The Baha'i faith disapproves of corporal punishment for children. Instead, the focus is on promoting a moral and spiritual education. The Baha'i faith believes that moral, spiritual and values-based training are essential in order to nurture children.

Parents who have strong spiritual backgrounds, including essential virtues such as the knowledge of God, trustworthiness, honesty and justice should utilize those virtues to build a strong moral framework that will assist their children to achieve excellence in material, intellectual and spiritual aspects of life.

Children are born with an innate nobility of spirit and recognition of the spiritual. However, like dreams that vanish in the morning, if they aren't captured through conscious action this recognition fades and often never returns. It is through the conscious effort of loving families that the spiritual, the unexplained and the wonder can be systematically developed - calling upon the guidance that has been given to humanity by a loving God, our Source of Being.

It is very important that parents themselves set the example for the conduct, morals and values their children are learning. Children learn more by example than through words. If the parents want their children to be truthful, then they must be truthful; if they want their children to be free of racism, then they must also be untainted by it; if they want their children to learn the equality of women and men, then they must show that equality in their dealings with each other.

- Send e-mail to Mehdi Khosh at


Ragingbear 10 years, 9 months ago

I always love the "Healthy fear of God" part. So it gives justification for parents to whip them until they fear God so much that they have no choice but to accept his divine love.

This should not have been a question posted. Religion should have no place in your child's discipline and how he/she is raised.

jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

I think they are pretty accurate, just a few minor alterations for me.

  1. To have a healthy fear of repercussions.
  2. To guard their minds
  3. To obey you (assuming you are a decent person yourself)
  4. To carefully select their companions
  5. To control their desires
  6. To avoid sexual promiscuity
  7. To watch their words
  8. To pursue their work
  9. To manage their money
  10. To love their neighbors

Only had to change five or six words, I think. (And one addendum)

Religion can certainly have a place in discipline, should you be religious. It's certainly not an absolute necessity. Out of my friends, the one I think has the best sense of those 10 things was raised by atheists, and is one himself.

TheOriginalCA 10 years, 9 months ago

2 needs to read: "Avoid intellectual rape at public schools and colleges/universities."

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 9 months ago

What a bunch of pathetic platitutdes. If it takes invocation of a wrathful fairy-god to teach your children to be kind to others, then you have real problems.

The bible teaches nothing that isn't common in all of human nature (except stoning disobedient children, polygamy, and slave ownership).

To quote the former governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura: "Religion is a sham and crutch for weak-minded people".

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 9 months ago

"#2 needs to read: "Avoid intellectual rape at public schools and colleges/universities.""

Indeed, avoiding intellectual rape is important. Teaching children about ghosts that live in the sky that must be obeyed is intellectual rape. Teaching hate toward others because of sexual orientation is intellectual rape. teaching children to ignore reality and instead rely on faith and things unseen is intellectual rape.

Not to mention the physical rape that occurs at the hands of the clergy.

Good post, TheOrgasmalCA.

Tom McCune 10 years, 9 months ago

18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death. (Matthew 15:4)

These are the words of God. We must obey.

Jamesaust 10 years, 9 months ago

Teach your children to enjoy sexual fidelity?

Perhaps the Reverend meant: teach you children the value of sexual fidelity by demonstrating it.

I realize that its difficult for a 'preacher' to not preach, but most moral lessons are translated quietly, by example - not by 'teaching' or 'demanding' things from others. By the time your children are old enough 'to enjoy' sexual anything, you're not going to be in a position as parent to demand very much.

(And since when was St. Paul in favor of enjoying anything sexual?)

jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

"#2 needs to read: "Avoid intellectual rape at public schools and colleges/universities."

Histrionics, much? Something tells me, too, that it's been a long time since you've been in either a public school or a college. At least while class was in session.

JobbyJobless 10 years, 9 months ago

beat them damn kids if they ain't actin right goddamnit

Speakout 10 years, 9 months ago

Jamesaust, I rarely agree with you, but you are right here. Our society is in deep trouble because there are few to emulate. We are left to the vices of our parents because our parents taught us nothing. How can we be "good" if our parents were not? (you define good, dear reader). Where do we learn to be good if there is no one who is?

Crossfire 10 years, 9 months ago

We don't need no education We don't need no thought control Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone! you behind the bike sheds, stand still

Crossfire 10 years, 9 months ago

Ask any alter boy about the rod and staff.

jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

Rod Stewart. At least once, every child has to hear him yowl, or it screws them up forever. This is a proven, scientimific fact thing.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 9 months ago

Another brilliant biblical analysis from 75x55. Wow, you are smart (LOL).

75x55, what behavior in your mind demands physical punishment? For what behavior do you spank your children?

ksmom 10 years, 9 months ago

Y'all are funny today. Thanks for the chuckles.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 9 months ago

75x55 said: "In what way can you not understand that an illustration of negative reinforcement is not always a recommendation of physical assault?"

What is an "illustration of negative reinforcement"? A threat? A physical assault on a harmless animal as an example?

This sounds alot like "sparing the rod" to me.

jonas 10 years, 8 months ago

You're very late, and no one was saying those things. Well, maybe one or two people, but they're probably the ones we don't listed to often anyway. Still, I don't see your synopsis truly demonstrated anywhere in this thread, so I wonder where you got it from.

trackstar 10 years, 8 months ago

So what some of you are saying is that parents should not punish their children because it is violent and abusive? Well if that is true then should we just give them a reward for every wrong thing they do. If someone murders someone don't they get punished? When a parent punishes a child, it is because they love them and don't want to see them ending up in a prison cell or worse, even dead. Punishing your child is a sign of love and that care. I'm sure glad my parents punished me, if they hadn't I don't know where I would've ended up later in life.

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